Monday, October 22, 2018

Calvin on John 14:18a: I will not leave you comfortless

I will not leave you comfortless (John 14:18a).

Christ promises his disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless [Greek: orphanoi].” Some modern translations render this as, “I will not leave you as orphans.” We immediately picture a child left without the comfort, protection, and  guardianship of his parents. Here the reference is to disciples who would be like orphans without their Master and his provision of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Calvin observes:

This passage shows what men are, and what they can do, when they have been deprived of the protection of the Holy Spirit. They are orphans, exposed to every kind of fraud and injustice, incapable of governing themselves, and, in short, unable of themselves to do any thing. The only remedy for so great a defect is, if Christ governs us by his Spirit, which he promises that he will do.


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